I am relieved because this was a long, hard pregnancy for our beautiful daughter-in-law, Anna. She bravely soldiered through the ordeal, but she was in some serious discomfort of various sorts for the entire time. I was concerned given all the hardship that the delivery also might be terribly difficult. I was greatly relieved that all went surprisingly smoothly. Anna has made it through and will be feeling much better quickly. But another significant cause for relief is that our fears were not realized. Laurie and I know from painful experience that the birth of a child is not as routine as we might like to believe it is. There are all too many things that can go tragically wrong. Having been on the grievous end of that truth in our own lives it was an enormous relief to see that beautiful little girl. She is as healthy as she could be and that lifted a weight from my soul.
Finally there is wonder. Childbirth is not a miracle. It is a natural process. But it feels like a miracle. As much as modern medical science knows about the process, there is an awful lot that we don’t understand. I find it impossible to wrap my head around the amazing event of a child beginning as a tiny embryo, growing in the mother’s womb until just the right time, then emerging into this world. Right now she can see very little and understands nothing. But a year from now she will be learning to walk and will understand much of what is said to her. Not long after that she will start speaking. The changes will be phenomenal. What awaits this precious little girl in the days and years to come? Ahead of her are obstacles, trials, victories, losses, joys that we cannot imagine. What will she be and what will she do with her life? The possibilities are endless. The potential of this little life is enormous. Neither I nor her parents will determine where that life goes. Yes, especially her mom and dad will be a big influence on her, but much of what happens in her life will be out of their control. In the end what is most important for us who love her is praying for her, trusting God with her life, being an example for her and loving her with everything that is in us. That last part will not be hard.
Thank you, Lord, for little Leilani. What a blessing she is! What a joy she is! I just can’t stop smiling.